This odyssey started last summer when I was discussing the best movie theme songs with my close buddy, Hendrix. As I delved into it there was absolutely no way I was able to narrow down my choices to one Top 10 post. This is a culmination of a five-part series of my top 10 favorite movie theme songs.
The list kept expanding and it was a disservice to myself and the post itself to cut it off at just ten movie theme songs. So, I decided to not set any boundaries and see where it went. As you will see it was a mammoth project but a helluv alot of fun! The overall list has showcased 50 movie theme songs in five parts over six weeks in descending order from #50 to #1.
This was also my biggest research project to date to maintain as much as accuracy as possible. Even at that I may have made a couple of mistakes and if so I would enjoy feedback for any corrections. Oh heck, why am I typing this because no one is reading this part anyway!
Thank you to You Tube, Wikipedia, Google Images and IMDB for their assistance and I included trivia for each, as always. So, get started and enjoy the finale with my Top 10 Movie Theme Songs Part 1!
10 The Lion King (1994)
Can You Feel The Love Tonight performed by Elton John
Question – How long did it take Disney’s CG department
to animate the widebeest stampede?
There could be some controversy with folks who say that Circle Of Life is the theme song rather than Can You Feel The Love Tonight. I disagree and with it being my post and my list and I get to make the final decision. The theme is so warm and magical to the events unfolding before us with Simba and the gang.
Answer – Approximately 3 years.
9 Dr No (1962)
James Bond Theme by The John Barry Orchestra
Question – Maurice Binder designed the gun barrel opening at the last minute, by pointing a pinhole camera through a real gun barrel. The actor in the sequence is not Sean Connery, but stuntman Bob Simmons. What was the first movie Connery did appear in the gun barrel opening sequence?
This is in my Top 10 Movie Theme Songs Part I but this could easily rank up there as the best movie theme song of all time. It’s been playing steadily for 50 years now and that speaks volumes to legendary John Barry tune that starts us off on each James Bond adventure.
Answer – Thunderball.
8 Superman (1978)
Superman performed by Nic Raine and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and composed by John Williams
Question – How were the scenes where the burglar is scaling the office building and falling off it filmed?
This song is so iconic and for lack of a better word, American, to epitomize our most classic hero. It gives us that feeling of protection that we can always sleep well at night knowing the Man of Steel is looking after us.
Answer – The guy in his office whose window he passes was strapped into the chair and hanging upside down. Most of the building was horizontal, with the footage flipped to make it look as though they were actually on the side of the building.
7 The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (1966)
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and composed by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai
Question – During the scene right before the final duel where Tuco (Eli Wallach) is running frantically through the cemetery what happens?
This is easily one of the most uniquely, popular music theme songs of all time. The twangy melody with the whistle and howl of a coyote intertwined with the glaring eyes of Blondie and Tuco. Who would outwit whom. Early last year by pure chance I posted the link to “How They Made The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” theme on Reddit. It got a huge amount of attention.
Answer – A dog can be seen running on-screen at the beginning of the scene. In reality, that was improvised on the spot. Sergio Leone, who was afraid that the scene was going to slip into melodrama, released the dog without informing Eli Wallach first – thus, his look of surprise is quite genuine.
6 Vision Quest (1985)
Only The Young performed by Journey
Question – This was the first audition for which actor?
The mid 80’s found me in the my wheelhouse of enjoying life post turning 21 years old. I was having lots of fun adventures, volunteering for our local Sheriff’s Office rescue team and working on the street as a medic. I was still in fantastic shape from high school despite becoming quite complacent with exercise. I still yearned for that special physical feat to get into epic phenomenal shape. Louden Swain inspired me to go after a vision quest. That was the statuesque physique of Shute. I didn’t achieve that but I used this movie ever since for any vision quest I’ve desired in life. Including this blog.
Answer – Linda Fiorentino who got the part straight out of drama school.
5 Hoosiers (1986)
Best Shot performed by Jerry Goldsmith
Question – Who was the announcer for the final game in the film?
For 28 years now this has remained my #1 favorite movie of all time. If we were sent to a deserted island and could only take one single DVD (no trilogies, etc) this would be the one that I would choose. It takes me back always to my childhood and my deep passion, drive and desire to be the best basketball player I could be. I practiced virtually to some degree almost 365 days a year. The movie then blends basketball into my favorite era being the 1950’s and the opening theme hits the right note on all cylinders. This movie is based on a true story which I watched online.
Answer – It is Hilliard Gates, who announced the “real” game.
4 Iron Man 2 (2010)
Shoot To Thrill performed by AC/DC
Question – When Tony Stark asks Natalie Rushman if she actually speaks Latin, she responds with the phrase “Fallaces sunt rerum species,” a quote from Lucio Anneo Seneca meaning what?
I know my movie group buddies will all wonder ahead of time if this was going to be #1 on my Top 10 Movie Theme Songs Part I list. It’s one of my alltime favorite songs and has so much history for me that I will share about in separate posts. The first time I saw it, when the scene opens with Iron Man standing on the jump ramp of the cargo plane and the music keys up. A rush of electricity went through my body with a music vibe ingrained deep in my soul. A side note, the song also was played in a brief 30 second snippet in The Avengers and when it came on I literaly yelped out a , “YES!!” to the theater audience and fist pumped.
Answer – “The appearances of things are deceptive.”
3 Titanic (1997)
My Heart Will Go On performed by Celine Dion
Question – In the movie, exactly 37 seconds pass between the lookouts warning and the actual collision with the iceberg. Also, when the scenes set in the present day, along with the opening and ending credits being subtracted from the movie, the movie length (all the 1912 scenes) adds up to two hours and forty minutes. What is the significance of both of those?
My best friend, Kim, her husband and I had the theater virtually all to ourselves as we went to see it one night in the midst of a blizzard. I love history and I’m also a big time romantic. I could have never known that my emotions could be spun like a top from a movie like Titantic did. “My Heart Will Go” churns up a wake of emotions within me that can often leave me feeling like a sinking ship of those that I will never be able to see again.
Answer -They are the exact times for the ship to hit the iceberg and the time it took for the ship to sink.
2 Star Wars (1977)
Rebel Blockade Runner/Star Wars performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and John Williams
Question – Who performed the scene in which Luke and Leia swing to safety?
This song is so galactically regal it will immediately grab anyone’s attention. There is a Force to be reckoned with. Good vs Evil. My #1 favorite movie trilogy (the original three) of all time. Darth Vader constantly looms. But Luke, Han, Leia and gang always prevail to save the galaxy!
Answer – Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher who did it themselves in one take.
1 Back To The Future (1985)
The Power Of Love performed by Huey Lewis and The News
Question – Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale say there were not aware of this fact in the Q and A for the DVD. What was the name of the movie that won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1955?
This was a no-brainer for me from the get-go as my #1 Movie Theme Song of all time. It will forever be ingrained in my mind from one very magical October night in 1985 at the drive-in movie theater. In the back of my pickup truck with a gorgeous brunette who I would one day propose to. Well it will all make sense after you read this from One Of My Best Dates Ever.
Answer – The film Marty.
I hope you enjoyed the series as much as it was a work of pleasure to put it together for you! What are some of your favorite movie theme songs?
This post is dedicated to one of my very closest friends, Hendrix (his nickname really is Jimi). A couple of years ago the two of us started a “game” of coming up with Top 10 lists (any topic) then comparing them with our thoughts. Fast forward to my blog launching and we realized that I needed to pursue this. His movie knowledge is beyond reproach and he feeds my busy mind with new topic ideas constantly to run with. He’s been my confidant, sounding board and a friend of unconditional support always. You are my rock star buddy and thank you!